Chad Ochocinco out for AFC Championship Game: Does It Matter?

Michael JakubowskiCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2012

FOXBORO, MA -  SEPTEMBER 18:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots confers with  Chad Ochocinco #85 of the New England Patriots during a game with the San Diego Chargers at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images reports that Chad Ochocinco is out for the AFC Championship game versus the Baltimore Ravens today. Ochocinco flew out to attend his father's funeral, who passed away last week. He intended to be back in time for the AFC Championship game today, but the funeral appears to be the reason is for his inactive status. 

My condolences to Ochocinco in his time of loss. He deserves the time off to spend with family. When it comes to the game, does it really matter if Ochocinco is in and playing? Ochocinco didn't catch a pass in the Patriots 45-10 rout of the Denver Broncos in the Divisional Round of this year's playoffs, and only caught 15 passes for 276 yards and one TD on the season in his first year as a Patriots. 

With the big game from Rob Gronkowski last week, along with the season's Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker had this year, I think the Patriots will be safe with Ochocinco sitting this game out. Look for Ochocinco's return to the field if the Patriots beat the Ravens today and travel to Indianapolis in two weeks.